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The Decision Factor offers insightful comments and observations on analytics—from views on new technology approaches and market dynamics to the latest industry trends driving demand for faster, smarter information analysis. This blog contains personal views, thoughts, and opinions from SAP employees, mentors, and friends working in the area of analytics. It’s not endorsed by SAP nor does it constitute an official communication of SAP.

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Hurry Up and Wait with Big Data Analytics? How to Realize the Benefits of Real Time

Hurry Up and Wait with Big Data Analytics? How to Realize the Benefits of Real TimeBig data can help businesses gain new insights at incredibly fast, real-time speeds. However, making an informed decision based on accurate information is only the first step. You have to implement that decision across your organization in order to produce the desired outcomes. But how do you do that?

In order to fully realize the benefits of real time, you need to act in real time and bring both analytics and transactions to work at the same speeds. If one is running at light speeds while the other is running batch jobs, you won’t realize the full potential of your real time business enterprise.

Customer Expectations in the Digital Age

Recently, an office worker mentioned “paperwork”, and I was surprised how old-fashioned and “pre-internet” it sounded to me. Since I hadn’t heard that term in a long time, I wondered if I would ever do business with a company that has to wait for the paperwork before it can take action or fulfill my needs?

A recent AIIM study (October 2012) shows that eliminating paper from processes can improve the responsiveness of customer service by 300 percent. How much more would customer service improve if representatives had instant access to all customer information (including communications that aren’t typically part of a customer interaction center application)?

Because the days of paperwork are over, the customer expectation of instant information access is already out there. The only way you’ll be able to address customer questions or concerns in real time is by making your applications and business processes based on a real-time platform.

New Business Models Based on Real-Time Information

Let’s look at a customer interaction, moment-of-truth example of how such a real-time platform works. A real time platform looks something like this – your customer data (name, customer #, address, products ordered) is nicely visible on the screen to the service representative. In this view, the representative can also see past emails sent by the customer to customer care, and notes on conversations and actions taken.

What’s more, the representative can now dynamically look up offers that might be of interest to the customer and provide the relevant information right away. To take this one step further, the service reps can now serve as sales reps, since they can interactively use existing offers or coupons and proposal templates to either email or text price quotes to the customer in real time.

From an application perspective, what’s in play is a single integrated view— all customer information, regardless of where it was created, is linked directly into the business process. Then it’s turbo charged with the ability to use on-the-fly document creation as part of the customer account information.

There are other moment-of-truth examples when it comes to business applications and real time. I’d like to hear from you. When it comes to your ability to act on real-time information at real time speed, what scenarios directly produce a remarkable impact on your business operations?